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Corky Simpson Admits He Erred on Rickey Henderson, But Can We Believe Him?

Jan 9, 2009 – 11:39 AM
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Matt Snyder

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A couple days ago we took you through a case where a voter neglected to put the best leadoff hitter in the history of baseball on his Hall of Fame ballot. More egregious was that he failed to mention Rickey Henderson as anything other than an also-ran. Since then, Corky Simpson -- said voter -- has become as much of the story as Henderson.

We did enough railing on old Corky last time, so I guess it's only fair we give him his due for admitting a mistake.
``First things first, would I vote for Rickey if I had it to do all over again? Damn right, I would," Simpson said. ``I had no idea my ballot would cause such an uproar."
So there you have it. He made a mistake and admitted it. We can move on, right? Hardly.
Green Valley News staff sportswriter Nick Prevenas said he warned Simpson about leaving Henderson off his ballot when he filed the column, but that Simpson told him he ``wasn't a Rickey guy and that he would vote for him next time.''
Oh reeeeeeeeeeally? So why lie, Corky?
``If I had properly researched the situation, I would have voted for Rickey Henderson if for no other reason than he played for nine ball teams,'' he said. ``Imagine that. He'll be the first Hall of Famer to have a bronze bust with nine caps stacked on his head.
Oh, the humanity. That's why Rickey should be in the Hall. Because he played for nine teams. Someone get Mike Morgan on the horn, because he's going to the Hall of Fame. Screw Rickey, Mike says, I'm gonna have 12 teams on my bust.

Obviously, we're digressing from the point -- considering we've now discussed Mike Morgan's "bust." The point is that Corky Simpson does not deserve a Hall of Fame vote. This is a great example of everything that is wrong with Hall voting. Voters arbitrarily decide whom they wish to vote for, based upon criteria that should not be considered. The problem, though, is that there aren't any guidelines that Simpson is not following. Therefore, they can't strip him of his vote. I also don't think you can start making voters think or act a certain way, so you can't really move for a rules change or anything.

What this boils down to is that the change has to come from the voters themselves. They need to take the vote seriously, and they need to responsibly study who deserves the feat. Call it a long, hard look in the mirror.

Corky mentions that people didn't vote for Ted Williams, Willie Mays, and others for their entry. Two wrongs don't make a right. Let's finally decide to quit holding onto outdated notions of "first ballot" and "highest percentage," and just either decide whether or not someone is a Hall of Famer.

Hat-tip: BBTF
Filed under: Sports